Craig Anderson, the recently retired long-serving reporter in the Highlands and Islands for the BBC, is to receive this year’s Barron Trophy, which recognises lifetime achievement in journalism in the Highlands and Islands.
Craig will be presented with the prestigious award at the annual Highlands and Islands Press Ball and Media Awards, being held at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, on Friday 1 February and organised by PR agency System2.
Brought up in Perth, Craig went to Aberdeen University where he studied Law and Scottish History. After graduating he worked as a volunteer for a community newspaper published by the Aberdeen People’s Press before getting his first start in paid journalism with a news agency based in Brussels, where he worked for four years, latterly as The Herald’s European Correspondent.
He returned to Scotland in 1984 to work for what was then BBC Radio Highland, becoming senior producer responsible for the station’s English language output. He spent several years as a freelance broadcaster and journalist, setting up his own production company, before re-joining the BBC as a senior reporter - working mainly for Reporting Scotland on BBC1 television and for Radio Scotland's news and current affairs output.
One of his earliest successes in TV journalism came while he was working late in the BBC’s Glasgow newsroom. The news editor dispatched him to vague reports of a plane crash. It was the Lockerbie disaster and Craig was the first TV reporter on the scene.
Based in Inverness, his geographical patch stretched from Elgin in the east to Oban on the west coast, as well as the Hebrides and Orkney and Shetland. His coverage included a full and varied range of stories, including air-sea and mountain rescues, political and business affairs and Royal visits.
During his career he has contributed to numerous broadcasting outlets and newspapers, making films for Channel 4, producing documentaries for the BBC World Service, writing for papers as diverse as the Financial Times, the Economist and the Sun and even coming up with a motoring column for the Inverness Courier. A fluent French speaker, he is a former Scottish TV Journalist of the Year and a trained video journalist capable of filming and editing his own reports.
Since stepping down from the BBC last year, Craig has found more time to indulge in his many interests, including cars, travel and especially music.
He is married to Joan and has three grown-up children. He and Joan have lived on the Black Isle for the past 35 years.
Gordon Fyfe, Chairman of the HIPBMA Awards Committee, said: “For many viewers and listeners, Craig was the face and voice of the BBC in the Highlands and Islands with his well researched, informative and often humorous reports.
“He joins a distinguished band of leading journalists to have received this prestigious award, which recognises a lifetime of achievement.”